Brisbane Airport was named Australia’s first dementia-friendly airport by Alzheimer’s Australia at the launch today in the International Terminal of a new guide to the airport for travellers with dementia.
Ensuring a Smooth Journey: A Guide to Brisbane Airport for people living with Dementia and their Travel Companions was created by a team led by Dr Maria O’Reilly, Professor Elizabeth Beattie, Professor Helen Edwards, Professor Jill Franz, Sandra Jeavons, Nicole Shepherd and Professor Lindy Willmott.
The step-by-step guide was prepared in partnership with dementia advocates and Brisbane Airport Corporation which, as a result, now has a dementia-friendly action plan and a resources kit prepared by the DCRC-CC.
“Close to 47 million people worldwide live with dementia, including more than 413,000 Australians, but many still travel. Until now, no guidelines for dealing with such passengers existed for airlines, airports or carers,” said Professor Beattie, Director of the DCRC-CC.
“Air travel can be incredibly stressful for anyone but even more so for people with dementia and their carers.
“A previous DCRC-CC study found the most challenging part of air travel for people with dementia was managing at the airport. The new guide aims to make the experience of navigating through Brisbane Airport’s Domestic and International Terminals as simple, stress free and enjoyable as possible.
“Some of the best advice comes from people who have dementia and those who travel with them. They suggest, for example, that you find an airline and stick to them, keep hand luggage to a minimum, always be early and book flights at the quieter times.”
The guide identifies the international dementia friendly symbols and takes users through the different airport zones, outlining what to expect in the bag screening area, duty free regulations, customs, quarantine, transfers and immigration.
The project team were able to determine the ‘dementia friendliness’ of Brisbane Airport’s Domestic and International Terminals by conducting an airport audit using the Dementia Friendly Communities Environmental Assessment Tool.
The guide can be accessed online at the Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration as well as Brisbane Airport Corporation.
According to qut.edu.au